A great deal of professional news this week focused on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, which I don’t consider to be within the purview of the National News Roundup. The remaining stories feel like something of a 45 Groundhog Day, but it’s what we’ve got to work with this week. Here’s hoping we’ll see more progress next week.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I guess after six years I’m conceding that I’m a journalist, but I summarize news within my areas of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not an envelope!–but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. And, of course, for the things that are within my lane, I’m offering context that shouldn’t be considered legal advice. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!
Cleanup in Aisle 45:
At this point, I must concede that Election Rejection has become multiple separate flying circuses, and we’ve seen pretty much all of them before. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Update: FBI Tour of Mar-A-Lago. After the Cannon special master decision on Monday, basically everyone and their kid sister in the legal profession had a soundbite about how openly partisan and legally iffy the decision was. Unsurprisingly, the Department of Justice pushed back against the call–and especially the accompanying injunction–almost immediately. The DOJ asked Cannon to stay her decision, noting that classified documents aren’t Trump’s in the first place and pausing the review puts the entire country at risk. If Cannon doesn’t stay the decision by Thursday, the DOJ has signaled that they do plan to file an appeal and see what happens. Of course, Trump’s opposing the stay of injunction, making it clear in the process that he’s going to drag all of this out as long as humanly possible.
- Insurrection Update: January 6 Subpoenathon. The Department of Justice has also aggressively upped its movement on the January 6 investigation, issuing 40 subpoenas today against various high-profile entities and seizing two phones in the process. They’re also expanding investigation to include looking into a Trump PAC that might have been funding various post-election schemes–or else just defrauding lots of people, which while not insurrection is also legally frowned upon. Either way, it’s pretty clear we’ll have at least two threads to track, if not more, for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep folks posted on this.
This was, in contrast, a fairly quiet week on the Biden Rebuilding front. Here’s what has happened:
- Recent Biden Resilience. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Biden Administration’s interesting potshots at the current Supreme Court this week, which appear to be part of the fall campaign strategy for 2022. That said, I also want to draw attention to the DHS’s recent public charge revision, which will effectively bring us back to how things worked in the 1990s. It leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s still better than the Trump era rules–as you might imagine, most things are.
Your New Normal:
- Contagion Corner. Probably the biggest COVID news this week is that experts anticipate a COVID booster every year moving forward, just like the flu shot. They’re also saying that you shouldn’t get your COVID booster with your flu shot, as September may be too early for maximum efficacy on the latter. Meanwhile, New York has declared a state of emergency because not enough people have gotten their polio shots, so I guess we’re adding that one to Contagion Corner as well.
- Concerning Texas Caselaw. Gender-affirming care and civil rights in healthcare are always on my mind, especially as I draft Section 1557 comments–they’re due October 3, by the way, and we can always use more support of trans rights in healthcare! But even with these things always on my brain, I want to draw attention to a case out of Texas that I think merits our attention; it may forecast resurgence of a bigger fight in healthcare. The case in question, Braidwood v Becerra, is a pretty sketchy challenge to paying for preventative services based on religious objections to gay people. The opinion was issued by a guy who is notorious for hating the ACA–and from a legal perspective, it’s probably not the most bananapants decision that this particular judge has ever issued. It’s nonetheless really scary though, because he decided to strike coverage of PReP, which is a medication that inhibits HIV transmission and can be literally life-saving. Many professionals in the field, myself included, also are concerned that the legal arguments used may herald much broader attacks on needed coverage for many types of preventative services. So basically, it’s a pretty “yay death” stance from the conservative corner and we need to keep an eye on this.
- Senate Next Steps? Against the discrimination backdrop above, it’s promising to read that Schumer plans to advance a vote on a same sex marriage protection bill in the near future. It’s even more promising to see Susan Collins signal that she probably hopes to use the bill as her centrist rep rehabilitation plan. As with all things involving Collins, her vote is worth a thousand words, but it’s nonetheless an interesting thing to track.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. Nonetheless, for making it through, you deserve this dancing doggo and a more functional government. I’ll be back next week with more restructured and improved news, and I hope you will be back as well–but in the meantime, feel free to ping the National News Roundup ask box, which is there for your constructive comments. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me tiktok videos involving cats!